Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu
(sometimes also known as Laozi or Lao Tze), who is a guiding
figure in Daoism (also translated as Taoism), a still
popular spiritual practice. He is said to have been a record
There’s nothing very natural about caring for nature. The
first and predominant impulse of humans has almost always
been to burn the trees, exhaust the fish stocks, pollute the
ground springs and darken the skies.
If we learn – gradually – to become somewhat...
You are - quite literally - in the middle of nowhere - and,
unexpectedly, it’s helping. A lot.
How frantic we otherwise normally are. We live competitive
crazed lives: we compare ourselves constantly to those who
have more, are smarter, seem more organised, look
John Ruskin (1819-1900) was one of the most ambitious and
impassioned English social reformers of the 19th century. He
was also - at first sight - a deeply improbable reformer,
because he seemed to care mostly about one thing - beauty -
No one, probably, has ever much doubted that these things
are nice. Clouds, trees and streams represent nature in its
most gentle, tranquil guise. Their appeal is instinctive.
But we take them for granted. They form a pleasant
background to other things: out of...
Whenever something looks interesting or beautiful, there’s
a natural impulse to want to capture and preserve it –
which means, in this day and age, that we’re likely to
reach for our phones to take a picture.
Though this would seem to be an...
Early in the morning one day in spring I had one of
those small but extraordinary experiences that is hard to
forget. I came downstairs with my young daughter to find a
brilliant pool of light on our kitchen ceiling. At first we
‘The obvious is usually profoundly significant.’
(Edward O. Wilson)
What does it mean to feel a connection with nature? It means
gaining an insight into the most important network there
ever has been and ever will be. It means becoming aware of
our relationship with...
Meet Chad. Chad is a personal trainer, from the Coen
brothers’ film Burn After Reading. He is a fictional
character, but we recognize him immediately: muscular,
handsome, full of energy and positive thinking – and as
dumb as a sack of small stones.
We are fooled by a scientific education if we believe that
the accumulation knowledge brings us ever closer to the
world around us. It is not knowledge that counts, when we
are talking about direct and immediate human experience, it
“There is a...
Picture yourself enjoying a meal outside an auberge in the
Provençal countryside. The fields of lavender roll off into
the distance. French voices murmur around you. You’re
served a beautiful chilled Rosé in a rustic earthenware
carafe. You ask what it is. The owner...